Insolvency proceeding put acclaimed biomining project and pilot plant on the brink of extinction
One of the world’s top experts in mine waste cleanup was one of the casualties of the massive and deep program and job cuts at Laurentian University this week.
Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk, highly regarded as a microbiologist in bioleaching and mine remediation, was among more than 100 faculty and staff who received virtual pink slips on April 16 as part of the ongoing insolvency proceedings at the Sudbury university.
Laurentian’s School of Environment and staff and faculty at its Vale Living with Lakes Centre took a major hit among the 58 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs cut.
Mykytczuk, an environmental microbiologist, manipulates tiny microbial bacteria in her Sudbury laboratory to produce a cost-effective and green alternative to deal with high arsenic concentrates in mine tailings, rendering them safe and benign, while extracting the valuable minerals from the waste material.
Well-known by mining companies in the Sudbury basin, Mykytczuk has gained the most acclaim for her work in South America in a partnership with Toronto’s BacTech Environmental.